We recently posted a picture on our Facebook page of Dr. Grandpre with one of our patients at our Roseville office. The patient is just 6 days old and had two teeth, which were extracted by Dr. Grandpre. The little one did so well, and went right back to sleep!
We received so many great questions asking why newborn baby teeth are sometimes removed, so we asked Dr. Scott Thompson, our Chief Dental Officer at Kids Care Dental, if he could chime in on the conversation.
FAN: What is the statistic of being born with teeth?
DR. SCOTT: I don’t have an exact statistic of occurrence of neonatal teeth. But I can tell you from my years of experience, that it is rare.
FAN: I was under the impression one should leave the false teeth alone, they naturally fall out.
DR. SCOTT: Sometimes it is appropriate to leave newborn baby teeth (aka “neonatal teeth”). Often, however, they are present before developing any root structure and are at very high risk of falling out and blocking their airway. It could trigger a spasm that would block their breathing and possibly could result in death. If the neonatal teeth are wobbly and at risk of falling out before the infant has developed protective reflexes and could choke, it is recommended that they be removed. This is a decision made by consulting pediatricians and dentists.
FAN: Will he get another set of baby teeth there, or just be a big space until adult teeth grow in?
DR. SCOTT: Sometimes these neonatal teeth are not true teeth (called “enamel pearls”) and the normal teeth will emerge at their regular time. Sometimes these neonatal teeth are the real baby teeth that have emerged before adequate development and if we need to remove them, they will not be replaced until the permanent teeth emerge when the child is older, around the age of 5 to 7.
FAN: Why did they need to be removed?
DR. SCOTT: The ones we have to remove (most of them) are a high choking risk.
Every child is different. Kids Care recommends that you rely on your local children’s dentist and or pediatrician to get an expert opinion before taking any action.